Sunday, July 05, 2009

On Christian Foundations

Patrick Henry: It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here. (Patrick Henry played an important role in the War for Independence and was a leading Anti-federalist in the debate over the Constitution)  


Noah Webster: In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed.... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people” (Webster took part in the public debates over the Constitution. He was a Federalist)


Noah Webster: The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence... This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free Constitutions of Government.


Noah Webster: When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, "just men who will rule in the fear of God."  The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty; if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted.


Alexis de Tocqueville makes this observation of early American culture in his monumental work Democracy in America: "So Christianity reigns without obstacles, by universal consent; consequently, everything in the moral field is certain and fixed."


Tocqueville: ...Christianity has kept a strong hold over the minds of Americans ...Christianity is itself an established and irresistible fact which no one seeks to attack or to defend. (Democracy In America )


Alexis de Tocqueville: For the Americans the idea of Christianity and liberty are so completely  mingled that it is almost impossible to get them to conceive of one without the other; it is not a question with them of sterile beliefs bequeathed by the past and vegetating rather than living in the depths of the soul. (Democracy in America)


Alexis de Tocqueville: I do not know if all Americans have faith in their religion-     for who can read the secrets of the heart? - but I am sure that they think it necessary to the maintenance of republican institutions. That is not the view of one class or party among the citizens, put of the whole nation; it is found in all ranks. (Democracy in America)

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